What Does He Need From You?

Something happened at work today that was not good. This thing that happened  brought out my insecurities. I had to work very hard to keep a positive attitude all day. My coworkers commented that I was very quiet today. What they did not know was that I spent most of my day praying and intentionally guiding my thoughts so that this “thing” did not derail my joy and turn me into a cranky jerk.

Over supper, hubby and I discussed the “thing” and how I had dealt with it. It was a positive conversation but still awkward and uncomfortable (although necessary) for me. We finished with the topic and moved on, but I still kinda felt funny. We were heading home when my husband started trying to distract me and make me laugh. I had no clue what he was up to. He joked around and got me to laugh. By the time we made it home I had completely forgotten the awkward conversation.

About a half hour after arriving home, it dawned on me what he had done. I asked him about it and he just smiled. So I thanked him for what he had done.  He gave me exactly what I needed. This got me to thinking, what does he need from me that I am not currently doing?

I want to give him what he needs from me. In order to do that I have to think and pray about what that might be. He is after all, a man. And I am a woman. We need different things.

For example, after some discussion over the past few months I have found out that after work he needs me to talk about things other than work. His job has been stressful lately and when we leave work he wants to leave work at work. This is not what I would have guessed he needed from me. I would have thought that he would want to talk things out, but that is not something he needs from me.

So what else does my husband need from me? What he did for me today meant so much. It reminded me that I need to be thinking about him and his needs often. What can I do to actively love him more.

What about your husband? What can you do to actively love him and give him what he needs? Spend some time thinking and praying about it. I am sure we can all come up with some way to bless our husbands.

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Remember Who Is Writing Your Love Story

Image Courtesy of ClipartPanda.com

Image Courtesy of ClipartPanda.com

When I was young, my favorite fairy-tale was Cinderella. Why? It is such a silly story. She meets some guy at a dance and they fall in love forever…not likely.

I think I equated falling in love and getting married to prince charming and happily ever after. Anyone who lives in the real world knows, this just is NOT the way life works.

The truth is that no matter how great your marriage is, it is not perfect. We are human and none of us are purely awesome all the time. Happily ever after is just a good ending to a fake story. That doesn’t mean that our love stories will not be great, but there will be at least a few bumps in the road. There will be some mistakes. Every now and then there may be some hurts that we have to work through. There is a saying floating around on the internet that goes like this…

“Don’t compare your love story to those you watch in movies. They are written by script writers, yours is written by God.” – Author Unknown 

In today’s world it is normal to be exposed to all the love stories in books, television and movies. But even the ones that are based on a true story are doctored to make them more appealing to the readers or viewers. Watching a movie or reading a book that has a love story in it is not the problem though. The problem comes when we allow those stories to cloud our view of our spouse.

If you find yourself reading or watching these stories and then comparing it to your own story…please stop. I have heard of so many women getting an attitude of wishing their husband was more like a character in a book or on screen. According to dictionary.com, here are the definitions of discontent:

not content, dissatisfied, lack of content and a restless desire or craving for something one does not have...

Do these stories that are crafted by writers leave you with a restless desire or craving for something you do not have?

Let me put it another way. What is one of the biggest reasons women do not want their husbands looking at other women and their physical bodies?

We do not want them looking because we know that we do not measure up. We do not look like those airbrushed girls in magazines. We do not have personal trainers and plastic surgeons. Our full time job is not looking beautiful in front of a camera. We do not want our husbands daydreaming about what those other women look like and wishing we were just like them.

So how is that different than those fake love stories that can plant seeds of discontentment in our hearts towards our spouse? Imagine this…you bring home some book that all the girls at work are raving about. You have been talking about it for weeks. Your husband knows you are dying to read it. Maybe he even buys it for you.

You take a relaxing weekend and dive in. Hubby knows you love to read and you have been waiting forever for this book. So he keeps the kids distracted, takes them to the park, visits family, whatever. Sunday afternoon you read the final ‘and they lived happily ever after line’…you look up from your book and start to come out of your dreamy, reading coma.

                                                           And there stands your husband, who is far from                                                    perfect and is a real human being.

Is he any less perfect than anyone else’s husband? Probably not. He is most likely a normal guy and he gave you all weekend to read a book you have been waiting for. So how does your mind react to this? If you have enough control of your mind to keep the fake love story under the ‘not real’ tab in your brain, then fine. But what if you can’t?

God created women with swooning hearts. It is one of the things that makes us women. It is the reason that when we find out the true story of the love that Jesus has for us, we just melt. We were designed to desire to be loved like that.  That is the ultimate love story and marriage is to be modeled after Christ’s love of the church.  But…

What about the other stories? What if you find yourself wishing hubby was a little more romantic? What if you start to look at him as if there is something lacking and the more fake love stories you read or watch, the more he lacks? Now what do you do? Silly untrue stories about fictional characters have altered the way you look at your spouse. This could change the way you both react to each other. This could possibly lead you down a path that could be heartbreaking.

I know that all of this sounds so extreme, but I have seen it happen. Marriage is hard work. Why make it even harder?

Do I read books or watch movies that have a story in it?  I used to, but rarely do anymore. I am not talking about the little love story that is just a tiny part of the rest of the story. I am talking about the full on, this is what the whole movie/book is about love story.

My husband made a comment when we were first married about a book that all the women at his job were just raving about. He heard them compare their relationships and he could hear the discontented attitudes getting stronger. Before he mentioned this, I had never paid attention. Now I do and I really think he was right…those love stories can cloud our view of our own story.

I think in the love department, it is much more helpful to keep our eyes on Jesus and to make Him the center of our relationship. Maybe you are able to immerse yourself in a love story for the weekend and come out the other side without it having any effect on your view of your own love story. For myself, I really just do not want to risk it. Marriage is not always easy and I want to give mine every opportunity to thrive.

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Are You Feeling Invisible?

Years ago when my children were young, I came across something that resonated with me as a mom. At that point in my life I had some extremely difficult and discouraging relationships that involved people who seemed to enjoy making me feel tiny. I felt unwanted and unneeded. I believed I would never be good enough and that my life and efforts were worth nothing.

Awful isn’t it?

The reality is that there are so many women who live there. In a place of despair and worthlessness. They truly believe that they mean nothing to anyone and that if they disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow, not one person would notice.

I have goose bumps just describing it. Those years are so far gone in my life, but I will never forget what they felt like. I lived there. Everyday I felt this way.

If you are there and you know what I am talking about, I am so sorry. My heart aches for you. I just want to take a moment to let you know that you are so wanted and so visible by a God who knows you better than anyone. He created you! He knew exactly what He was doing when you were made. No matter what anyone here on earth tells you, there is a loving God who is waiting for you to find your self-worth in Him. You are valued at a high price. You are precious. Seek Him and His comforting arms. He is the only one who can give you peace. I promise.

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If you struggle with this feeling of being invisible, I have something for you! As I said earlier, I found this during a very dark time in my life. It helped me to understand that I was not invisible! Someone saw me. He noticed me. He loved me. I pray that this encourages you as much as it encouraged me.

The Invisible Woman by Nicole Johnson

I Need To Share This With You!

Words are so powerful. They can evoke so much thought and emotion. They can make us pause and contemplate deep things that we would normally skip right over. They can fire us up or calm us down. They can comfort us or anger us.

Today on Easter Sunday  I was reading a fellow blogger’s recent post and I started to cry. Her words were so powerful. I asked her permission to share it with you and she said yes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

One of Seven by BeautyBeyondBones

Happy Easter Everyone!

I Made It!

I had all of my children pretty close in age. There was never more than 20 months between any of my trips to birthing center.

And I love that my children are that close in age.

But…

It was not easy when they were younger. Having several children in diapers, some crawling or walking for the first time, another learning to talk and ask a million questions, yet another potty training and ALL of them needing your attention right this instant!!!! It is easy to understand how overwhelming being a mother with young children can be. Heck even one child can be a hand full. That is why God gives them to you one at a time…unless you have multiples. To that I say God must think you are awesome! I might have gone nuts if I had more than one at a time. I give you props.

I remember going out into public, usually the grocery store or church, and older women would flock to me. I mean it. They really did. Sometimes I felt like we were a traveling circus. The funny thing was, all of them said the same thing…

                       I know it is hard to imagine now, but someday they will be older and it will get easier…and you will miss this age.

I am being honest when I say I thought they were crazy. I would look at my kids (one in the baby carrier crying, one chewing on the block of cheese still in the package and sitting on the bread in the cart, one lying on the bottom of the cart and the oldest who would be furiously rearranging the canned goods on the bottom shelves) and I would think “Are you serious! I cannot wait until they are older and things are not so crazy!”

Well, they did get older. I remember the day I took my youngest to her kindergarten screening. I realized on the way there that I had made it. I had officially survived having four children at home until it was time for them to go to school all day. I laughed. I remembered all the women over the years and what they had said and I wondered if I would miss those days.

Well, I am here to tell you I do. I miss them so much. Don’t get me wrong, I love every new adventure my children are taking me on.  Sometimes though, I look at my son and wonder where my baby boy went and how did he get so tall? When the girls ask for help doing their hair I jump at the chance. I don’t get to do it that often anymore. I look at all my children and am bewildered as to where all the time has gone.

So precious mother of young children, please know this:

You are going to make it!

I promise. Please try to enjoy the chaos and the constant giving. Someday they will not need as much hands on mothering. One day they will be able to wear your shoes. Eventually they will be helping you with dishes and laundry and cooking meals.  Then you will look at them and wonder where those years went. Enjoy them while they last.

I Needed This

Have you ever had something you had been thinking about and it was just taking over your mind with worry?

Over the last couple of weeks I have been stressing about what we will do as far as childcare and my full time work status when we have another baby in a couple of years. My mind has been so bogged down with worry that it feels like it is crowding out my joy. I was home with my four children until the youngest was over a year old. I have never taken an infant to daycare while I go to work for 40 hours a week.

I think about this at times and  tell myself…I can’t do it. I start to panic as a million questions race through my mind. I get worked up into a frustrated tangled mess. Most days I pray about it and realize that it is still far off and I need to “Let Go and Let God”, as the saying goes.

Today has been one of those days….and I have been trying all day to shake the uncertainty and settle down. But it has not worked. It has been biting at the back of my mind all day.

Until I saw this…

Now, it may not make sense to you, but this video is just what I needed to see. Her testimony. I have been praying about and researching ideas for businesses for awhile.  I have some ideas that I believe God is wanting me to pursue. Things are not written in stone, but the story of her faith and stepping out to do what God called her to do is just what I needed right now. I am not 100% sure of the exact path that God has for me, but I know He has a plan. I just need to trust Him.

 

Overcoming Fear In Baby Steps

Tonight I was taking care of my sons hamster, “Big Bob”. He had been in his ball, running around the house. It was time to put him back into his little home. So I opened the cage and the ball so he could climb from one to the other…

but he refused to go back into his cage.

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image courtesy of pethamstercare.com

So here I am with this stubborn hamster and my son was not home to put him back. So what do I do?

Now comes one of my fears. I am terrified of mice. For some reason the hamster does not bother me as much, but I still have a fear of picking him up with my bare hands. I am afraid of getting bit. When my son came to us a couple of months ago and asked for a hamster for his birthday, I thought “NO WAY!”  Once I thought about it, I figured it would be a good lesson in responsibility and maybe even help with my fear of mice (Yes, I know, mice and hamsters are not the same creature). Close enough.

So we buy the hamster and now I have a furry little creature living in my home full time. Over the last couple months I have slowly gotten attached to the little guy.  I take care of him when my son is not home.  At first I just put food into his bowl and water in the little drippy bottle. Then I started to try to put him into his ball. I did this with work gloves on so I would not get bit. I would just kinda shoo him into the ball and I got him out by bribing him with a treat (while wearing the gloves).

Eventually I started pet him, with the gloves still on. Then one day I touched his back with no gloves on. He jumped and I screamed, poor Bob.  I kept trying. I was determined not to be afraid of handling him. Now, for the first time, I have been able to pick him up without gloves and not flip out. This is a big deal. The kids were even excited.

Do you have any fears that you need to overcome?  I would suggest baby steps, time and maybe even some prayer.

For God Hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7  

Couscous and Cabbage Creation

For awhile now I have been more and more concerned with my family’s nutrition.  I have watched extended family members struggle with their health for years. My own waistline is not what it should be. Let’s face it…

I am not getting any younger. 😉

My energy is not always what I want it to be. With our decision to try for a baby in a few years, the last thing I want to be is unhealthy going into a pregnancy with a mid to upper thirties body. My husband and I are hoping for a successful VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), possibly even a HVBAC (Home Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). According to all of our research, one of the biggest things we can do to make sure this is possible is to make sure I am in great shape physically and have a balanced diet before and during pregnancy.

I also want to be intentional with the eating habits my children are learning from me. When they grow up they will carry these habits into their adult lives. When they have children, these habits will influence how they choose to feed their families. This is a responsibility I take very seriously.

Now to the point of this long winded story. The other day we were getting a little low on groceries and I was trying to come up with something to go with a pork roast that had been in the crock pot all day. I pulled out cabbage that I had prepped and frozen several weeks ago. I love boiled cabbage, so I put it into a pot with some water to boil.

Now, I might love boiled cabbage, but for everyone else except one of the kids, they are not big fans. So I have to make it more appealing to them. I started looking through the cupboards and pulling things out to put in with it. Couscous, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of black beans, some garlic and seasonings. Now this may not be all of what was in there but this is what I remember. (I made this last week. I know, I should have written it down and taken pictures to post. I am hoping to get better at this blogging thing.)

When I served this I told them that they should shred the meat on their plates and put it in with the cabbage creation and it would be really good. Not everyone loved it. I had one daughter who only ate what I gave her and did not go back for more, but there was not much left over.

That is a WIN in my book.

My family is continuing to adjust to eating much more vegetables and all around healthier meals. It is good for them and myself. This is one of the ways I demonstrate love towards them. I know that this is a really good thing…for all of us.

We Are So Blessed!

Well, we are moved! It is now Wednesday and we have been in our new home since Saturday. My family and I are so blessed to be able to buy this home. There is more space, which we desperately needed.

What an overwhelming process, moving a family of six. There are still many things to do and some boxes to unpack. It does feel wonderful to be here in this house though. I know everything will fall into place.

I will begin writing again tonight. I have so much that I have been thinking about during this whole process. I cannot wait to share it all with you. I hope everyone is having a great week.